Bushes – Soaking Up Water?

Q: I live in a small townhome and the ground floor is very damp. I need a small bush that grows in shade to soak up water.

A: Unfortunately, plants do not “soak up water” from an area. Certainly some plants use a bit more water than others as they grow but the difference is not large. While some plants tolerate wet soil around their roots, they do not use more water and make the soil around them dryer. I have a list of shrubs that tolerate damp spots at xrl.us/dampshrubs. The dampness in your house is more likely caused by inadequate indoor ventilation.